I’ve had quite a few people tell me they miss my food posts, so I thought I’d start my What’s For Dinner? series up again. It’ll be a little different, but there will be food and pictures of food involved! LOL! If you ever want to see the inspiration for some of the meals I make, check out my Recipes I Love board on Pinterest.
This post is dedicated to some of the amazing meals we had over the summer!
Pan Seared Pork Chops with Garlic Butter Carrots with Herbs and Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Garlic
This dinner is pretty self-explanatory. I pan-seared some pork chops with butter and fresh herbs (and sugar, that’s the secret ingredient!), whipped up a mustard sauce using Dijon and whole grain mustard, white wine, and rosemary, boiled some baby carrots and dressed them with garlic, butter, and herbs, and pan-seared some Brussels Sprouts with garlic and bacon. To say this dinner was delicious is an understatement. I seriously made out with my plate that night. Ahhh, memories…
Thai Crunch Bowl with Salmon
Y’all know I love to eat my food all mixed together, so I looooove me some bowls! This bowl had some broiled salmon on a bed of quinoa, edamame, dry roasted peanuts, shredded carrots and red cabbage, dressed with a mixture of peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and lime juice. It was delightFULL!
Quinoa Bowl with Salmon, Zucchini, and Butternut Squash
I enjoyed the salmon bowl so much, that I made another variation with zucchini and butternut squash that I roasted together. For this salmon I just baked it in the oven in soy sauce. All those foods together= YUM!
Chicken Salsa Burrito Bowl
Like I said, I love me some bowls. We eat burrito bowls pretty often (which is like twice a month since I make so many different things). I’ve come to love using the crock pot to cook the chicken for this meal. All you do is put chicken with a jar of salsa in the crock pot and let it cook on low for several hours! Easy peasy! I made rice, black beans, and corn to go in this particular bowl, which I topped with cheese, avocado, black olives, and sour cream. Yuuuum!
There was a couple weeks at the start of summer when I got really lazy and didn’t make a meal plan (or even a grocery list)! We ate things like pizza, Stouffer’s frozen meat loaf, fried chicken with boxed mashed potatoes (which I hadn’t bought in years and will never buy again! Gross!) and a salad kit, and this dip. It’s a recipe Joe Daddy’s family introduced me to back when I lived with them for a couple months while I was pregnant with Jules (15 years ago!). You layer cream cheese on the bottom of a baking dish, then canned chili with beans, then shredded cheese, top it with green onions, and eat it with tortilla chips. It is so simple, yet so delicious, and probably not the least bit healthy (even with those green onions in it, haha!).
Pesto Chicken with Asparagus, Tomatoes, and Mozzarella on Quinoa and Brown Rice Fussili
I absolutely love pesto, and since I can get a jar for less than $2, I’ve been using it in our dinners much more often (at least once a month). For this dinner, I simply combined cooked chicken, pesto, grilled asparagus, tomatoes, gluten-free pasta, and mozzarella cheese. It had pesto in it. Need I say more?
Red Pesto Chicken Spaghetti
Aldi also has a red pesto sauce that is really good too! I paired it with chicken and tomatoes and served it over brown rice spaghetti.
Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Stir Fry
I just love hot pineapple! Whether it’s on a pizza, on a kabob, or in a stir fry, I love the clash of it’s sweetness with other foods! I kept things simple by buying premade teriyaki sauce (shhhh…don’t tell the “Nutrition Police” ;)).
I am slightly obsessed with fritattas, and even slightly more obsessed with Greek inspired food! I’d eat a turd if you put red onion, tomatoes, olives, feta, and basil on it. Not really, but now you have a better idea of just how much I love this stuff! Hahahahaha!
You won’t find this recipe on my Pinterest board, but if you’re interested in how to make a fabulous fritatta, I’ll tell you what to do: Mix 12 eggs with half a cup of milk and one cup of shredded cheese (I like sharp cheddar). Cook your veggies in an oven-safe pan, like a cast iron skillet (which is what I use), then add the egg mixture. For this fritatta, I only put spinach and mushrooms inside it, the others I used as toppings once it was cooked. Bake in the oven at 350° for 20-30 minutes and enjoy!
I’ve made a Greek inspired fritatta before, but I put all of the veggies and feta on the inside. This time, I used the tomatoes, Kalamata olives, basil, and feta as toppings (I forgot the red onion, dangit!). It was sooo much better this way! I was fortunate to get the last piece the next day for lunch, so I got all the extra toppings that had fallen off of the other pieces as they were extracted for consumption. Score!
Loaded Baked Potato Fritatta
That new Greek fritatta gave me an idea for another: Loaded Baked Potato Fritatta! I cooked some diced potatoes in my cast iron skillet, poured my mixture of 12 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, and 1 cup shredded cheddar over them, baked it all in the oven at 350° for 20-30 minutes, and then topped it with green onions, bacon, shredded Mexican cheese, and sour cream.
It was just as delicious as it sounds!
I got giddy when I found this recipe for quesadillas made into nachos! We had just eaten salsa chicken bowls the night before and had enough leftovers to make another meal, so instead of leaving the inside of these quesadillas plain cheese like the recipe called for, I loaded them up with salsa chicken, black beans, and corn as well as plenty of shredded cheese. Then I cut them into 8 slices and topped them sour cream mixed with lime juice and zest, black olives, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, queso fresco, green onions, and radishes (which are my new favorite veggie to hide in food!). They really came out more like Mexican pizzas (I made 2), but they were sooo freaking delicious!
Philly Cheesesteak Quesadillas
Speaking of quesadillas, my family enjoyed these so much that we had them three times this summer! I would have never in million years thought to put a Philly Cheesesteak into a quesadilla on my own (which is why I go to Pinterest for dinner inspiration weekly), but boy was it awesome! The first time, we followed a recipe that called for deli roast beef, onions, and green peppers with swiss, cheddar, and pepper jack shredded cheeses.
It was really good, but for the 2nd attempt, we added mushrooms, a sauce made from ketchup and mayo, and used Steak-Umm instead of roast beef. Ummm, don’t use that greasy crap. The roast beef was sooo much better…and cheaper…and easier to cook with! We also decided that we liked the sauce for dipping instead of inside the quesadilla. Third time was a charm in this case!
Chicken Parmesan Wraps and Quesadillas
If there’s one thing I learned this summer, it’s you can pretty much turn any meal into a quesadilla! Haha! This one was actually a wrap, made with shredded chicken, marinara, spinach, and mozzarella, but because the Flatout Bread I bought only came with 6 wraps (and I made this on a day when the big kids each had a friend over), I made The Littles a quesadilla (using the last spinach tortilla!). I bet this would be even better with actual chicken parmesan, but it was still great with plain shredded chicken!
One of my favorite meals to make (mainly because it’s so simple and delicious) is what I call “Sausage Skillet.” It’s just smoked sausage (I get the less processed uncured beef one), green bell peppers, onions, and potatoes cooked together in a skillet (I recommend cooking the sausage first then the other veggies, then mixing them together). I also like to make a “Cabbage Skillet” that is made with smoked sausage, onions, and cabbage, again because it’s so easy and delicious!
Amish One Pan Ground Beef and Cabbage Skillet
This is another one of those super simple, but super yummy skillet dinners (with the food all mixed together, yay!). It’s just ground beef, cabbage, onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, and a little tomato sauce (which I actually omitted this time around). It tastes like spaghetti, only with cabbage instead of pasta!
Eggplant Parmesan with Grilled Parmesan Zucchini and Brown Rice Spaghetti
Joe’s dad gifted us lots of goodies from his garden over the summer (which was especially nice since I killed everything except the herbs in our garden, whoooooops!). In one haul, we received 2 gorgeous eggplants, so naturally, my mind started dreaming of eggplant Parmesan.
Taylor was all about wanting to fry up some eggplant, so I salted them to draw the bitterness out, and once they drained, she dipped them in an egg and milk mixture and coated them with gluten-free bread crumbs and then handed them off to me to be fried in oil.
She did a pretty good job!
We put the fried eggplant on top of some gluten-free spaghetti, which we topped with spaghetti sauce, and then covered it all with Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and fresh basil from the garden.
Pa also gifted us a bunch of zucchini, which we ended up grilling and topping with Parmesan. It was a cheesy-good night! Haha!
Pork Chop and Squash Skillet
We also got a bunch of squash from Pa, which I ended up throwing in a pan with diced pork chops, potatoes, and onions. Taylor said it was the best squash dish I’ve ever made!
Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
Salads are another favorite meal of mine. They’re easy, full of veggies, and all of the food mixes together! This salad had chicken, bacon, avocado, radishes, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a honey mustard dressing I made from scratch! It was really good…and yes, I ate that entire bowl all by myself!
Greek Chicken Salad
I love Greek food and I love salads, so you know I love Greek salads! What’s not to love? Grilled chicken, cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and basil! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!
Jambalaya with Riced Cauliflower and Garlic Bread
I’m from NOLA so Cajun food has been my favorite since birth. Unfortunately, my family doesn’t share my love for it, so I don’t make it nearly as often as I would like. If I had my way, we’d eat crawfish étouffée, gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice every week! In this jambalaya, I omitted the chicken (to keep the cost down) and used riced cauliflower instead of white rice. It was good, but I missed the rice. Just another reason why I shouldn’t eat it very often. 😉
Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Chicken
For some reason, I was seriously craving spinach and artichoke dip. I decided to add some chicken to make it a meal. Some of us had it with bread chips and some of us had it on top of gluten-free pasta. I cooked the pasta and the dip in my new cast aluminum pots I found on clearance at Aldi that week for less than $25 (for both)! Not only are they bright green (which is awesome all by itself), but I have never boiled water so fast!
Mackerel Salad Lettuce Wraps
From the time I was 12 until I was 16, my mom was married to a guy from Thailand. His mom taught my mom to make a couple authentic Thai dishes. My favorite was this mackerel salad with lettuce wraps! My mom hasn’t made it in a while, and recently I just got a hankering for it, so I asked my mom for the recipe. My mom’s a lot like me (or I guess I’m a lot like her), so she didn’t have a recipe. She just said, “Mix some canned mackerel with some cucumber, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and fish sauce and wrap it in some lettuce.” Thanks Mom. No really, thanks! I managed to find the perfect balance of those ingredients when I made it for the first time! My hubby loved it, but the kids weren’t impressed. Taylor doesn’t like any seafood, except canned tuna, which I thought would be similar enough, but I was wrong. Oh, well! Mama’s definitely going to be making this a lot more often! It’s just as good as I remember!
Garlic Butter Cheeseburger Sliders with Mexican Street Corn Style Grilled Zucchini
I tried Mexican street corn for the first time this summer and fell in love instantly! I’ve always thought the sound of mayo slathered on corn sounded DEEsgusting, but man am I a fan now! If you too think it sounds gross, just try it. You can’t taste mayo, just awesome goodness! We had a bunch of zucchini to use up, so what better way than to grill it up and top it with butter, mayo, queso franco, chili seasoning, cilantro, and lime juice? I assure you, I ate more than those 2 pieces pictured! Yuuuuuummmmm! And those cheeseburgers topped with butter, garlic, and parsley were mouth watering good too! They weren’t quite as good as the ham and cheese sliders I made one night when our friends (the kids’ Godparents came over), but they were really really good.
Bahn Mi-Less Rice Bowl
I really love pho (a Vietnamese noodle soup), so when I found this recipe for a bowl-take on the Vietnamese sandwich (bahn mi), I knew I had to try it, and boy am I glad I did! I cooked half a pork loin in the crock pot covered in a marinade made with garlic, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Then I pickled some radishes, carrots, cucumbers, and cabbage in white vinegar and sugar. Then I served them all on a bed of white rice and topped it all with chopped jalapenos, cilantro, and more of the pork’s sauce. It was heavenly! I liked it even more than pho! And my kids, who totally turned their noses up at it when asked what we were having for dinner, not only ate what I gave to them, but asked for more! I’m really interested in trying it in sandwich form now! “Bahn mi” actually means bread, which is why this bread-less dish is called “Bahn-Mi Less.“
And there you have 24 of the dishes I cooked over the summer! So next time you find yourself at a loss for what to make for dinner, give one of these meals a try!
Last week, I posted about my Whole30 Shopping Experience at Trader Joe’s. Well…
Ok, so as promised, here’s my shopping experience from Trader Joe’s…